Bucky Pizzarelli

Solos & Duets

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AllMusic Review by

The music within this two-CD set by Bucky Pizzarelli consists of several different sessions that initially appeared on separate Stash LPs and CDs before being combined for this collection. The first 22 tracks are taken from solo seven-string electric guitar sessions recorded in 1981 and 1986. His lyrical, strolling interpretation of "The Folks Who Live on the Hill," plus brilliant performances of two Bix Beiderbecke compositions ("Flashes" and "Candlelight") and a lush take of "'Round Midnight" are but a few of the many highlights. Both dates are virtual master classes for solo jazz guitarists. He's also joined by his talented son, John Pizzarelli, for 23 duets on seven-string guitar, mostly songs from the swing era, including a hard-charging "Love for Sale," an intricate "Nuages," and a sparkling "In a Mellow Tone." But there are surprises, including a delicate interpretation of Stephen Sondheim's ballad "Pretty Women" (from the musical Sweeney Todd) and Chick Corea's masterpiece "Spain" (inspired by Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto). Father and son were hardly strangers playing together, even at this relatively early point in the younger man's career; they comp one another beautifully. Unfortunately, the packaging of this two-CD reissue is severely flawed. Not only are both artists' photos given a bizarre coloring that make them look like post-nuclear war mutants, but they're shown playing guitar left-handed. In addition, all of the songs from disc one are actually on disc two, and vice versa, and the composer credits are omitted. But such sloppy work by the label shouldn't prevent fans of Bucky and John Pizzarelli from picking up this musically excellent release on Jazz Classics.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 02:04
2 03:30
3 02:18
4 02:29
5 03:05
6 02:44
7 03:23
8 02:56
9 02:54
10 02:54
11
04:55
12 02:23
13 03:03
14 03:40
15 03:11
16 02:29
17 03:28
18 03:16
19 03:26
20 05:08
21 02:29
22 02:12
blue highlight denotes track pick